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<i>Tata Birla Madhyalo Laila</i> - Review

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Thursday, October 12, 2006
Mediocre direction spoils the comedy
Director Srinivas Reddy tried to cook a different food by mixing several elements like love, sentiment, action and comedy. After Rajendra Prasad, the next natural choice is Sivaji, who could play a role with innocence with a touch of comedy. After playing some petty roles in some films, he proved himself as a hero with Missamma, but Bhoomika dominated his role in that film. His next film Mr and Mrs Sailaja Krishna Murthy gave him some scope to prove his ability. Though he played solo heroes in Mr Yerrababu, Adirindayya Chandram, they failed to click commercially. His latest flick Sitaramudu brought him a mass image to some extent. Now again he tried his hand in a comedy flick Tata, Birla Madhyalo Laila, along with Krishna Bhagawan and Ali.

Tata (Sivaji) and Birla (Krishna Bhagawan) are friends from childhood. They are orphans and eke out their living with petty thefts. Once they hatch a plan and rob a bank. To their dismay, they rob soiled notes from the bank. In order to get rid them off they take them to the city outskirts, where they come to know from one person, a hired killer from Mumbai, who was talking over phone that he is settling a deal for a whopping Rs 30 lakh. Accidentally, they hurt him and confine him in their room. Tata and Birla decide to cash in on the opportunity.

Gajapati (Tanikella Bharani) is a realtor and Mahalaxmi (Laya) is his foster daughter. Mahalaxmi loves her father very much. Ratnam (Jeeva) is Gajapati's rival in business. Unable to win him in the business, Ratnam decides to kill Mahalaxmi to avenge his anger on Gajapati. Somehow Tata and Birla get into Gajapati's house and win over the love of all the family members. In fact, Gajapati eyes the property of Mahalaxmi, whose parents die in her childhood and he was the guardian till she attains the majority. Once Mahalaxmi turns major, Gajapati decides to kill her and grab the entire property. It is Gajapati who settled the deal with the Mumbai hired killer. One day Gajapati tells Tata and Birla to kill Mahalaxmi. But by that time Mahalaxmi falls in love with Tata and the latter too had a soft corner on her. So, Tata and Birla decide to save her from Gajapati. By that time, a new person Laila enters the scene. Later Tata and Birla come to know that Laila is not a real woman but he is also a petty thief called Mastan (Ali), who was sent by Ratnam to kill Mahalaxmi. As all of them come from the same profession, they decide to help each other and save Mahalaxmi. On learning that Masthan joined hands with Tata and Birla and is not going to kill Mahalaxmi, Ratnam enters the scene to kill Gajapati. But, Mahalaxmi takes the bullet injury to save her father. With this, Gajapati realises his folly and unites Tata and Mahalaxmi and the film ends on a happy note.

These days healthy comedy is almost missing on Telugu cinema. But in this film, the director tried to provide entertainment on a clean note. However, there are crude jokes here and there which are negligible. Performance by Sivaji and Krishna Bhagawan are the major plus point for the film. Being the last film, Laya, who had so far restricted her performance as a family-type, traditional acting, went a little overboard and shook legs with Sivaji to suit the taste of mass audiences. A couple of scenes in the film were able to touch the heart of audiences.

The poor screenplay is the main drawback for the film. The director kept some characters unnecessarily and failed to establish certain characters. Especially he failed to utilise the services of a senior comedian like Brahmanandam and failed to establish him properly. Even Raghubabu's character was also not properly moulded on the screen. The Mumbai goon's character also remained a dummy as he bit the dust in the hands of a petty thief, of course, the latter is the hero. Srilekha's music is another big let down. She copied old tunes for songs and even failed to give good music for playback during re-recording. Almost all the music bits were a direct lift from old tunes. Nagireddy's editing is also not that crisp.

Though the film is said to be an entertainer, the poor script, improper screenplay, mediocre direction made the film little boring. Of course, we can't rule out that the entire film is bad as there are some scenes which we can really enjoy on the screen. One had to wait and watch how the audience would receive the film as several top heroes' films are ready for release in the near future as Diwali gift.

Cast: Sivaji, Krishna Bhagawan, Laya, Ali, Brahmanandam, Tanikella Bharani, Padmanabham, MS Narayana, Jeeva, Raghubabu, Kadambari Kiran, Ashokkumar, Sudarshan, Hema, Suhasini, Apoorva.

Story - SSP unit
Camera - Anji
Dialogues - Brahmam
Editing - V Nagireddy
Lyrics - Bhaskarabhatla.
Presents - Soma Vijayprakash
Music - MM Srilekha
Producer - Bekkem Venugopal (Gopi)
Screenplay and direction - Srinivas Reddy.
Banner - Lucky Media.
Released on - October 12, 2006.

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